Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I took over the bedroom when he left, more or less, we shuffled things around, so I could have a sewing room, so he stayed in the living room during this visit. I had been spending time in there knitting and watching DVDs, which didn’t happen a lot while he was home. Last night I got to do that again and finished up another dishcloth. That gives me two new ones, enough for the time being. I wasn’t going to start anything new and decided to inventory my yarn stash. Well, while inventorying, I uncovered some pretty yarn I got way back when I first thought knitting could be fun, a blue jeans variegated Cozi yarn (by Caron) and some eyelash yarn that went with it, to be knit together into a scarf. So much for good intentions. I pulled out some size 11 circulars, cast on 20 stitches and started knitting. Not for long because I needed to get up in the morning. The last scarf I knit was also with an eyelash yarn, but the other yarn was a fingering weight. Cozi is bulky, and is knitting up much denser. I only have 150 yards, so this isn’t going to be that long…
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
On Friday we got Oyster cards at the tube station, made using the tube and buses very easy, just plonk the card on the reader. Then we headed to the Tower of London, saw the Crown jewels, the old crowns with no jewels, graffiti scratched into tower walls by prisoners, an armery, and more. Again, spent several hours, then grabbed a bite to eat and went to the British Museum. Used Rick Steves' guide to hit the highlights. I have been an Egyptian history buff since the seventh grade, so seeing the Egyptian artifacts that the British "stole" was exciting! The first thing you see when you go into the Egyptian hall is the Rosetta stone, awesome! And bigger than I realized. Not something you pick up and carry around. We got back to the room around 7 and realized we would not make the pub crawl that night (scheduled to start at 7), so we went to another place close by and had a nice dinner with the hard cider featured there. Potent.
Saturday we headed to Leicester (pronounced LES-ter) Square to get tickets to Spamalot. Long line, but we got them. TKTS booth has half and 25% off tickets to many of the current plays, Spamalot was 25% off, but still worth the wait in line. After that we did a bit of shopping on Oxford Street, going to Liberty first. Wow, lovely, and expensive, stuff. They had a fabric and yarn floor that I spent some time on. Did not buy anything, not for lack of trying. The yarn I wanted got sold out the day before L. That evening we went to Spamalot and had a great time, funny, at least if you are a Monty Python fan, which I am.
Sunday was check out day from our London B&B, but they kept our bags for us so we didn’t have to haul them all over. We went to the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill museum, across from the Parliament building, then to the National Gallery for the quick tour. Also had a bite to eat there. Then back to the B&B to collect our bags and head off to Waterloo station to take the train south to Havant (close to Portsmouth).
Monday was freezing, literally. DH was working, so I decided to just stay warm and rest. We went out that evening with the folks he had been visiting which was fun.
Tuesday was back on the train to get back to Heathrow, only this time we didn’t have to get off and take the bus detour, and it was during the day so we got to see the countryside. We checked into the hotel by Heathrow then took a taxi to Windsor Castle. Not enough time to do it justice, the guards were hurrying us along to get to the end before it closed. We did see a lot though, even if we didn’t listen to all of the commentary of the self-guided tour. We wandered around the town for a bit, then took a taxi back to the hotel. The next day was back home, another long flight, and during the day the whole way, so no sleeping. It did make getting back to our own bed a lovely thing.
Can’t wait to get back and see more of the country.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Then I finished the 6' plus scarf for my DD (Christmas gift), freeing up those needles for another scarf for me. Meanwhile I started using the black Fun Fur along with Caron's Simply Soft in black for another scarf for me. This one is just knit (garter stitch), nothing fancy. The yarn would hide anything anyway. Using circular size 11 needles, so it should go pretty fast.
Last night I googled knitting needle holders because I want to make one. They don't look that hard, but seeing them helped me with some design issues.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Her needle turn technique is a bit different than I have been doing, and there seems to be less stress on my hand, a good thing. We practiced on a “blob” that has all of the basic shapes you need to master to do any appliqué shape, straight, hills, valleys (including the very deep and shallow ones you get a lot in Hawaiian appliqué), concave and convex curves). I got her DVD so I can refresh my memory of her techniques after Thanksgiving.
When I got home I finished basting the hibiscus pillow appliqué, but what I really want to do is a wallhanging (her Woodland Lei pattern, see http://www.prqc.com). That was too involved to prep during class, so I didn’t even try to do it. But I did fold the fabric, so I can lay it out now at home before I forget. Once I get it basted I think I will do the pillow first, then do the wallhanging. The pillow is really going to part of a six block quilt, at least that is the current plan. Been planning to do it for a while, just haven’t gotten around to it
After I got home, I quilted the New Jersey mystery quilt, and am currently quilting my Starlight Serenade, a small wall quilt I hand pieced while on business trips to Colorado Springs about 10+ years ago. Finally got a border on them (after deciding that the applique border was NOT going to happen), and now it is basted and I am quilting it (Yeah!, another UFO biting the dust).
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Next Tuesday and Wednesday I will be going to the SCVQA meeting and class. Nancy Chong is the guest teacher/lecturer, and I have been a fan of her Hawaiian quilt patterns for a while. Since I am still quilting my Silversword, I hadn't started another one, although I have fabric for a few wall hangings. I went out today to get thread, and ended up getting backing for the current (almost pieced) mystery quilt, and fabric for the next mystery quilt. Need to wash fabric now, including some I had gotten for Hawaiian quilts, but never washed.
I made Vegetable Chicken soup with Orzo for dinner, along with rolls. In a splash of olive oil I sauteed chopped onions. minced garlic, chopped carrots, a green pepper, stalk of celery, and two small diced eggplants (all except onion from the farm share). I added a box of low sodium chicken broth and a couple handfulls of orzo (after it started to boil), cooked nine minutes, then added diced, cooked chicken and heated through. Yummy.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I adapted a recipe that we got in the CSA newsletter. Chopped one large red onion, and minced several cloves of garlic, sauteed in a bit of olive oil. When partially cooked, added a bit more than half a pound of lean ground turkey and browned it. Chopped up all of the tomatoes I had (without peeling them) and added to pot. Chopped the chilis I had and added to pot. Ground some cumin and added to pot. Rinsed a can of kidney beans and added to pot. Let simmer.
Meanwhile, I made corn bread and grated some cheese to put on top of the chili. Everyone enjoyed it, although it didn't have that "chili" taste since I didn't add any red chili powder. You could, but I forgot. I also forgot to add chopped cilantro at the end, ah well.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Now to get ready for Pacific International Quilt Festival, my annual quilting overdose. Not as big as Houston, but plenty big enough. I will be taking FOUR classes, I must be crazy.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I was working on Robbing Peter to Pay Paul when the BOW came out, so I finished it before doing Trip Around the World. Trip was paper pieced, so pretty easy. I appliqued the curves on Robbing Peter ... then machine pieced the four squares together. Swamp Patch was rotary cut, machine pieced, and Bow Tie was templates, machine pieced. Quite a variety of techniques in these four!
DH and I braved the heat yesterday and went to the Mountain View Art and Wine. I picked up a Christmas present and a glass figurine of a Dragonfly on reeds. Lots of dragonflies in my new bathroom, which still needs a vanity and the edge tile and a shower door. Sigh, one of these days. Hopefully the vanity will be done this week. We went hoping to find Kyle Designs there, no joy. But I did find her website and ordered some bamboo design faceplates with white background and antique silver overlay (instead of the black and gold shown).
Still striving to eat more veggies. The CSA family share is huge! I need to figure out something to do with all of the apples we have been getting lately. I did a spinach and basil cottage cheese sort of pesto last night, mixed with whole wheat penne pasta and cooked broccoli from a Moosewood cookbook. It turned out excellent. Tonight will be eggplant somehow, debating between Ratatoullie (sp?) and eggplant parmesan. The Ratatoullie might win, no baking involved!
My son came home for a week so he could go to Brett's memorial. Didn't actually see him much, but he mostly slept here. We did get family portraits taken before he left. It had been about 16 years since our last family photo shoot, so about time. Maybe one of them can be used here so people can see what I look like. We had a large BBQ on Labor Day, mostly friends of Tom and Brett. We got to visit with Brett's family and get to know them a bit, that was nice. Lots of Brett stories were told that day.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
There were two blocks for August instead of a block per week, both to do with Friendship. I decided to to Grace's Friendship (G-6) block first, expecting it to take longer than the other one (K-2 Friendship Quilt). It did. I used the back basting method which works great when you have lots of tiny things to line up. After basting I marked just into the seam line so I could see where I needed to turn. I might take off the light green tree top and make it lighter, but right now it is done. I don't have a lighter green in my pile of fabrics that I am using, so will need to audition some from my stash before moving forward with that plan. Meanwhile I will make a few more blocks from the BOW list that were done before I started. Up to 46 blocks done now!
Picked up the farm share today, a family share. I think I will have to try and get a small share next season, lots of food. I gave some of the lettuce to the guy who is working on my bathroom. We had taco salad for dinner, which used up the last of last week's lettuce, plus a bit from today. We got Arugula, Broccolini, Cilantro, Green beans, Kale (Red Russian), Lettuce, Peppers (sweet), Potatoes, Radishes, Spinach, Tomatoes, Strawberries, and Golden raspberries. I am still trying to find Arugula and Kale recipes that we like, although DD says I made something with Kale before that she loved. Need to figure out what that was!
Staying up way too late watching Olympics!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The walls are painted and the tile now has grout! We have to wait for the quarter rounds, but so far looking pretty good. We picked up medicine cabinets today. We wanted tall ones, and had to look far and wide to find some taller than 26", but DH found some today. Then there is the vanity. Another setback, looks like one of the boxes got dropped on its head. Don't know who did it, but it looks broke. New one will take two weeks to get.
On the sewing front, still working on Graces Friendship block, one more figure and one more tree to go.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Then of course there is High Country Garden, it is Done! Well, almost, it needs a label. I am actually pretty horrible about putting labels on quilts. I do sign them though, with Pigma pen. This quilt has a dark backing though, making signing well nigh impossible. So it needs a label.
While making the SBS blocks I seem to be finishing UFOs. The Cube Lattice isn't really a UFO, more of a scrap buster, but the border fabric is now pressed and ready for cutting. Sunday's task. Then I just pulled out another UFO from ancient days (1993 to be more precise). I got its border cut today, and the backing (same fabric).
Along with quilting I have been taking my DD out to learn to drive. She is getting better, but we only have about 4 hours behind the wheel, at least recently.
The bathroom is coming along, tile should go up this week. I've been using EQ to generate the tile layouts. Works pretty well.
Then we had some fun and went to see Carrie Fisher in her one woman show, Wishful Drinking. A hoot. Then we went to Foothill Musical Theatre and saw "Pajama Game". I've never seen it before, but recognized several of the songs. Loved it.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
One of the things on the cutting table is my light box. I got it down to trace some appliqué blocks for Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler. I’ve been listening to The Master Quilter as I stitch and just came to the part where Agnes lists the blocks she made (at least some of them) for Sylvia and Andrew’s quilt. Since I want to make it wider (to fit my bed) I pulled out my copy of the book and added the blocks not already in the quilt into my EQ project. Several of them are appliqué. Most of them I don’t have already drawn. So, I’ve been creating a Bridal Wreath block from a quilting stencil of the same name. I haven’t done much appliqué drawing, so this has been a learning experience. One of the blocks was a Whig Rose. This is one that will be tricky to make in a 6” block, at least the versions I typically think of as a Whig Rose. Maybe Agnes had a simpler version in mind? One of the additional blocks was Castle Wall, one of my favorite blocks, it will definitely get added. :)
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I think that Posies Round the Square was my hardest block so far. You wouldn't think it to look at it, but curves are not my favorite thing to do, and this applique was tiny. And it has been too long since I did any applique too. I traced around the patterns Jennifer provided, and added the applique as back-basting. I machine pieced the basic block and hand appliqued the posies.
I finished the other two blocks late last week, but didn't post them then. These were both paper pieced, so not too bad.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Time Out Quilts – Atkinson Designs, where I hope to make String of Lights, using the almost white batik from Always Quilting and batiks from stash and Lily pads using Blank fabric from Gold Country Retreat
Teapots 2 to appliqué – Kay McKenzie (signed) at Round Robin Quilts - using Blue and white fat quarters from Always Quilting, & blue & white border fabric, background unknown, perhaps light gold or very light blue pseudo solid It’s Hip to be Square (HST and squares) – Debbie Caffrey (Back Porch Fabrics) - making Beary Patches (Bear’s Paw variation) using Periwinkle, purple, blue and off-white fat quarters from Back Porch, along with setting fabrics and a few more fat quarters from Fabrics n Fun (now Sewing Machine Center)
Quilts for Rosie – Carolyn Cullinan McCormick - using red, blue, and gold 30s fabrics and white (got 25 fat quarters from Golden State)Put Rosie Panel on the back, and Rosies in the cornerstones. Drafted the blocks into EQ today to make it easier to print the paper piecing foundations.
Now I have the makings for a charm bracelet, just need to get out the jewelry pliers. Each store and the museum gave out charms, and the last shop you went to gave you the chain bracelet. It was a lot of fun driving around with my friends, and we were all exhausted when the end of Saturday came.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Got home late today, not for lack of trying, but lack of commen sense on my DD's part. She called DH for a ride home, then told him she was about 10 miles from where she was. I was meeting DH, then we would pick her up. We ended going around in a big circle (I was originally about 2miles from where she was, looped around about 6 to DH, then down about 5, over about 3, then back up to her before coming home. Yikes. Not happy with her.
I only pieced C-1 tonight, did B-6 last night along with cutting out C-1.